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  • ISBN: 9780226769363
  • ISBN10: 0226769364

Convents and the Body Politic in Renaissance Venice

by Jutta Gisela Sperling

  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
  • Publish date: 01/01/2000
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Description: In late-sixteenth-century Venice, nearly sixty percent of all patrician women joined convents, and only a minority of these women did so voluntarily. In trying to explain why unprecedented numbers of patrician women did not marry, historians have claimed that dowries became too expensive. However, Jutta Gisela Sperling debunks this myth and argues that the rise of forced vocations happened within the context of aristocratic culture and society.

Sperling explains how women were not allowed to marry beneath their social status while men could, especially if their brides were wealthy. Faced with a shortage of suitable partners, patrician women were forced to offer themselves as "a gift not only to God, but to their fatherland, " as Patriarch Giovanni Tiepolo told the Senate of Venice in 1619. Noting the declining birth rate among patrician women, Sperling explores the paradox of a marriage system that preserved the nobility at the price of its physical extinction. And on a more individual level, she tells the fascinating stories of these women. Some became scholars or advocates of women's rights, some took lovers, and others escaped only to survive as servants, prostitutes, or thieves.

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Hippo Books
Location: Toledo, OH
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Light rubbing wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or
Michener & Rutledge Bookseller
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0226769364. Name on inside front cover, otherwise text clean & tight; Women in Culture and Society; 8.90 X 5.80 X 1 inches; 434 pages.
Daedalus Books
Location: Portland, OR
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0226769364. 8vo; 434 pages.
johnson rare books & archives
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Original paper wrappers. The small signature of William Frank, Curator of
Cellar Stories Bookstore
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0226769364 417 pp., 8vo. Paperback. Slight scuffing & edgewear to covers.
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